• Member Since 12th Aug, 2017
  • offline last seen 11 hours ago

chris the cynic

Someone who doesn't know how to describe herself, is always struggling with debilitating depression, and won't stop hanging onto the hope that happy endings are possible.


In high school, Rainbow Dash didn't have much trouble remembering how great she was. She had the best friends one could hope for, nigh constant athletic victories, the unshakable conviction she was better than Applejack, and the fact she was a, fairly active, super hero to remind her that she was awesome.

High school ended, the band broke up, the magical threats died down, everyone went to different colleges, and it became harder and harder for Rainbow to convince herself that she had value. Recently, she stopped replying to messages from her friends; she's pretty sure they'll be better off without her.

Fluttershy is getting worried, but she's too far away to check on Rainbow herself. Sunset Shimmer, on the other hand, is only a two hour drive away.

~ * ⁂ * ~

In theory, this is being written for the Pride and Positivity event. In practice whether it's actually in time depends on what timezone one happens to be in.

Usually, my depression is preventing me from writing these days. The exception to that seems to be the 11th hour. In this particular case, that's literal as well as figurative.

It probably says something about my state of mind that the story I thought up for an event with "positivity" in the name is one about debilitating depression. I did check the rules, though; this counts.

Chapters (1)

After pictures from her phone get posted online, that human five confront Sunset with the information. After discovering that she and the others had very different ideas about how to confront her, Rainbow Dash finds herself defending Sunset from the rest of her friends.

Rainbow siding with Sunset didn't change all that much. Sunset was still successfully framed, Sunset still lost most of her friends, Sunset will still go back to being the most hated student at CHS, but she won't have to face any of it alone, and that will make all the difference in the world.

Meta stuff follows.

Let's talk about combinatorics.

There is one way for none of the five to remain on Sunset's side, there are five ways for one of them them to side with Sunset, there are ten ways for two of them to do so, there are ten ways for three of them to do so, there are five ways for four of them to do so, and there is one way for all of them to do so. Out of these thirty two possible configurations, almost every Anon-a-Miss story sticks to the first one.

I did a tally once upon a time and what I found was that 96.9% of possibilities were almost never explored, and 87.5% were never explored at all (no "almost" necessary.) These figures get rather more abysmal if you're looking at who did or didn't side with Sunset from the start. The rare stories that have one or more of the five side with Sunset tend to have the initial confrontation go down pretty much canonically, and then have someone have a change of heart later on.

So, in the interest of stuff, here's a thing where Sunset has someone on her side from the very start. Most of the first chapter was released two months early on my Patreon page, for subscribers only, as you might imagine.

Chapters (1)

Daring Do never belonged anywhere, but she always knew what she was going to be when she grew up. Someday she'd be Daring Do, world famous archaeologist. This was easier dreamed than done given that all of her posessions fit in a backpack, she had no one on her side, and she preferred to live entirely off the grid.

After discovering hidden message that had been forgotten for centuries, she set off to, hopefully, find something she could use to get her foot in the figurative door. It seemed to pay off: she made the find of a lifetime at seventeen. Then she got punted into the future.

Sunset Shimmer finally belonged somewhere for the first time in her life. She felt like she finally had a family. Then it all fell apart. That didn't mean she could stop working, though. She was the one who brought Equestrian magic to the Human world, it was her responsibility to keep it in check.

While trying to track down a magic surge that should have been impossible, she met someone who would, eventually, become a friend. There's just one problem: Sunset knows that Daring Do is a fictional character. So why is this someone, who claims to trust Sunset, insisting her name is Daring Do?

Chapters (1)

After reports of magical happenings, Daring Do comes to Canterlot in her A.K. Yearling persona. Having become estranged from her friends, Sunset Shimmer has plenty of time on her hands and is more than willing to spend it with her favorite author. The fact that it's been about a hundred moons since the last time she had a chance to geek out about magic is just a bonus.

The two talk about magic, life, the universe, and everything.

This is very low on my list of priorites, given how many other stories I have that are in need of an update, so don't start reading unless you're ok with infrequent and sporadic updates.

I made the cover art; it took an absurdly long time.

Chapters (1)

Once upon a time my name was Celestabellebethabelle,[1] and I lived on earth[2]. I was ⹁you see, once a human like you,[3] but (as you might imagine) I went to a convention. "Which convention?" I hear you ask.[4] Anime Boston. Knowing me,[5] you'd have thought it was Arisia, but it was Anime Boston. Things never work out quite the way you'd expect.[6]

So, try as I might ⹁with magnetsˌ superconductorsˌ liquid nitrogenˌ and so forth, I could not get the floating ball in my Tsukasa[7] staff to actually ⹁you know, float. Now, I could have just used a wire or ⹁I shudder to think, a metal rod, but that's entirely missing the point.

So I had the rest of my outfit, right? I mean, you know this story even if you've tried not hear it;[8] you know all about how my outfit was awesome. Those green stones inset in the hat? Malachite.[9] Nailed it. Where applicable[10] I used the actual skin of actual animals because suede is awesome my outfit had to perfect, ya know?

Get to the convention ⹁I'm all alone, and Jen A. Blue doesn't do panels anymore so the thing that originally made me decide I had to come to Anime Boston[11] isn't even there anymore. I have no idea what to do. Been trying for years to get here, finally arrive after the thing I was coming for is gone.

So I wonder and I wander and I find a disreputable looking person selling just the sort of thing I want to illicitly buy. By which ⹁of course, I mean that wave master staff with the red ball actually suspended in mid-air. I've waited my whole life for this moment,[12] and it's only going to cost me three human soulsˌ twenty three minutes of my brain being used as a computer processorˌ and . . . I know that humor says I should add a third ludicrous thing, but I'm out of ideas. The staff is ⹁however, named "Ludicrous".[13]

The price (the real one) was decent, I really wanted it, money changed hands, and then . . . you know, right? Call me, "Megan Willams,"[14] because I'm a human in Equestria. I think ⹁but am not sure, I'm in the gap between Rainbow Rocks and The Cutie Map. Go figure.

As mentioned, I know about displaced stories. You really can't not. I haven't read them, but I'm pretty sure I don't like them. Now I'm living one.

So . . . that's what's up with me. Woo.

[1] Ok: No, it wasn't. Humor is basically the only thing that keeps me sane at this point, though. Let me have this.

[2] The one where humans don't have poly-chromatic skin and hair colors.

[3] Several points to make here. In no particular order:
By this I mean I was once ⦑a human like you⦒ not, "Like you, I was once a human."
This assumes that you are a human; if you are not, then I was once a human unlike you.
Furthermore, what was like you ⹁assuming you are human, about me was our shared humanity. We probably did have other things in common, but I do not know what they are. It should in no way be inferred that I was any more like you than any other human.

[4] Full disclosure: No, I don't. Not even a little. If you are attempting to communicate with me in an auditory kind of way, try harder.

[5] Which you don't. Unless you do. If you do, I'm actually kind of weirded out by the fact you're reading this. Unless reading this will assist you in building a portal from where I was to where I am ⹁thus allowing me to return, please stop in the name of privacy and/or not weirding people out.

[6] Except when they do.

[7] Main character from .hack//Sign. He was getting trapped in an MMO back before it was cool. If it is cool now. Even if it isn't cool now, I suppose it counts as being before it was cool provided that it wasn't being cool before or during his tenure trapped within The World.[15] Is it true that he did it before it was cool? No idea. Cool and I have never been on speaking terms.

[8] This ⹁I know, from experience.

[9] I don't always use rocks as wardrobe accessories, but ⹁when I do, I prefer Cu2(CO3)(OH)2. Stay thirsty my friends.

[10] So . . . not that much, really.

[11] Get my My Little Pony and Fullmetal Alchemist analysis from the same person? Sign me up. But you can't ⹁at least not without a time machine, because: see above. Took too fucking long to get my act together. Another in a long series of regrets.

[12] This isn't even hyperbole; it's just an outright lie.

[13] I'm not even making it up. It's not named that in the series ⹁and I'm a "Series only" kind of girl, but when looking something or other up I learned that it's a level 99 silver staff named "Ludicrous". So, there is that.

[14] She was the human main character of an animated TV series called "My Little Pony". You may have heard of it. She beat such luminaries as Tirek, Grogar, and the Smooze. Let it be known. She beat Tirek in her first appearance, because only suckers wait till the last episode of of season 4.[16] The book "Who Was Megan" is in the Fall of Sunset Shimmer in the dark magic section of Canterlot library, and ⹁in the same story, when Sunset first emerges into the human world, a flyer on the ground says that submissions to the CHS yearbook are to be brought to her or her siblings.[17] Look it up.

[15] You have to remember that this was a Japanese thing, so having it be called "The World" in English is like if we had an online game called "世界" or "せかい" or "sekai". It sounds a little bit less uninspired that way, doesn't it?

[16] I've never seen the G1 series and movies, so take that as you will. Tradition calls for taking salt with it. Also, Twilight Sparkle is not ⹁to my knowledge, a sucker.

[17] Nepotism much?

Chapters (1)

After being framed for something she didn't do, Sunset Shimmer is is bullied, shunned, and alone. She meets three people who will almost certainly be bullied, shunned, and isolated because of something they didn't do.

Their names are Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk. They are human teenagers who don't know magic is real, this is their first time in Canterlot, and they're transferring to CHS. They have no idea what they're getting into.

At another time, Sunset might have been the one person who could convince the student body that these three were not the Dazzlings. Right now, no one will listen to her.

The four of them have each other, but being associated with Sunset marks Adagio, Aria, and Sonata as suspected cyberbullies, and being associated with them marks Sunset as an evil monster (again.)

No idea what you should expect regarding updates.

It's like this: I realized that, if I set out to write the beginning of this, I probably could. Given that my depression has been generally stopping me from writing anything, it took that opening and started writing. I wrote for five and a half hours straight. That sort of thing isn't likely to happen twice, not until my depression is under better control at least. Also, I have no plan.

Updating doesn't require a marathon writing session (or a plan), though, so it could be that I'll have an update soon. Or it could be that I stall out and it's stuck sitting where it is for ages before I manage to update.

Why This Exists OR Credit Is Given

At some point after Cojo5536 suggested that Sunset meet the human Dazzlings in a forum post, I mentioned that River Road once commented on how much Dazzling Doubles by icecreammac resembles an AaM fic and referred to Cojo's idea as "crossing the streams".

(I haven't read _Dazzling Doubles_ myself.)

After about three hours of that marinating in my head, I decided to start writing. Mostly, as noted above, because times when I can write tend to be rare.

For those who might wonder, the cover art is my own creation based on a screen capture from Rainbow Rocks,

Chapters (1)

Sometimes, after ending up adrift in the multiverse, one has no clear way to return to, or even find, one's own universe. It happens to the best of us. In fact, it happens to all of us sooner or later.

Upon finding herself in that very situation, Sunset Shimmer is interviewed by an inhabitant of the universe she landed in. She's been told that, if she just answers a series of questions, her hosts will be able to locate her home timeline, and return her to the human realm within it.

She has serious doubts, but she doesn't actually have a more promising approach to solving the problem.

Chapters (1)

Do you know what it's like to start a revolution just because you accidentally had an ideal instead of an idea? Sunset does.

Sunset has seen her world bè͎c̣͌o̯ͧm̼͆̇e̥̽ ̲̈́͑i̪ͩn̲͐t̼͒e̲ͦ̓͗n̘̹̅̎ͅs̤̰͖ͬͪ̀e̯͔̅ͤ̃͗ḽ̟͂̇ͯy͓̜̻͍ͦ͊̍̊ ̳̻̎ ̴̢̢̘ͭ̆ͪ͐-̷̶̧̞ͭͭͭ-̴̦̮̊̆͂ͦ̓͠-̨͓̫̙͉̈̋͢-̵̴̢̩̺̜͇͌̎ͭ̕̕-̶͕̥͖̪̯̜̊̒-̉̐ͨ̾͏̸͇̘͎̞͙͍͜͝͡-̸̴͔̝ͨ̽̓ͧ̀̚̕- because, instead of being quiet, everything was quite but there was no indication of quite what it was quite.

The revolution is over. The world is no longer quite so quite. Susnet Shimmer, Sunset's evil duplicate, has been defeated and susses no more. But, for all of that progress, the typos continue, and Sunset is getting tired of it.

This was to be an entry into No Author left Unnoticed!'s “Sleep doesn't help if it's your soul that's tired.” competition, but when I reached a point where a could cut a little bit to keep it under the word limit or ignore the word limit, add more scenes, and allow it to quadruple in size, I opted for the latter.

Chapters (1)

[Be aware: this doesn't contain suicide or self-harm, but it definitely contains thoughts of it.]

“Things aren’t good. And they’re not happy. And they’re not what either of us would have chosen. But, Wallflower, they’re enough.”

Sunset had said that, and she'd meant every word.

Their relationship survived, and helped them survive, the worst times of their lives. No matter how bad things got, their love was enough.

She never imagined that all it would take to break them up was for things to get better.

This is a story about two broken people in a fundamentally flawed relationship. It's another depression thing (I seem to be cranking them out.)

When something can break through deep depression and give you normal feelings, there's a tendency to latch onto it as though it's the only available flotation, you're all alone in the middle of the ocean, and you no longer have the energy to keep you head above water. If that thing happens to be another person, it can give you a very skewed understanding of how you feel about them.

This story is about two people coming out of that. It's neither dark nor a tragedy; that should tell you something.

This story is to be my entry in Sunset Shimmer Shipping Shenanigan 3: The Final Shippening. (If I can finish it on time, that is.)

The premise came from the fact that the FAQ mentioned Anon-a-Miss again this year, and from the prompt boiling down to: "The relationship has to end". Everything else came from the idea, generously donated by someone else, that it could be a Sunflower story.

[Cover art by Scampy]

Chapters (6)

Luna and Sunset talk on the roof of Canterlot High School.

Sunset has no desire to kill herself; what concerns Luna is that that isn't the same as wanting to be alive. In fact, it's not even close.

Note about the content:
The "Suicide / Self Harm" tag is only for stories that actually contain those things. There's no warning tag (or any kind of tag) for stories that contain discussion of those things, or related things, without actually featuring them. So I'm warning you here.

This is about a specific kind of deep depression: the kind where you don't particularly want to live. At one point Sunset talks about possible ways she could die, and how none of them would bother her. So if you're not up for reading things suicide related and suicide adjacent, steer clear.

Now that I've spoiled almost every aspect of the story, let me ruin the rest. I didn't tag this as "Sad" because I don't think it's sad. It's definitely heavy, but that's not the same thing.

You might disagree about whether it's sad, though, so take that into account when deciding whether or not you want to read it. If you do read, and you think it should be tagged as "Sad", please tell me in the comments. (The last thing I want to do is bring people down when they're not prepared for it.)

Chapters (1)